Gun Related News Stories
7th Circuit Strikes Ban On Target Practice By Minors, Near Ban On Ranges - January 19, 2017
People younger than 18 have a Second Amendment right to target practice, with adult supervision. Broad bans on the location of firing ranges are unconstitutional. On these points, all three judges of a 7th Circuit panel agree, in the newly decided Ezell II.
Released Wednesday, Ezell II held that:
Chicago may not prohibit all persons under 18 from entering licensed firing ranges.
Chicago may not constrict firing ranges to a tiny sliver of the city.
The opinion of the court was written by Judge Diane Sykes, joined by Judge Michael Kanne. Judge Ilana Rovner concurred in part and dissented in part. She agreed with the above two points but construed them more narrowly than did the majority.
New Hampshire Committee Moves Constitutional Carry To Senate Floor - January 10, 2017
A bill looking to eliminate New Hampshire's permit requirement for carrying a concealed firearm has passed committee and now heads to the full Senate for the third year in a row.
Tuesday's hearing lasted nearly three hours with about 20 people testifying both for and against the repeal.
Those for keeping this requirement argued that it improves public safety. Those for repeal said it gives law enforcement too much discretion in choosing who can carry a concealed weapon.
Constitutional Carry Is Texas Republicans Number One Priority - January 9, 2017
When the Texas Republican Party met for its statewide convention last year, passing constitutional carry was listed as the No. 1 priority for the 2017 session - or an 'emergency item,' in the words of State Representative Jonathan Stickland.
And so Stickland, a Republican from Bedford who has championed gun rights, did the honors and filed a constitutional carry bill in the Legislature, which, if passed, would allow Texans to carry guns whether or not they have a permit. It would make the now required Concealed Handgun License classes and training optional. And it would make carrying a gun free of charge (current permit application fees are $140, or $70 for Texans below the poverty line).
"We don't think people should be charged to invoke their constitutional rights and be required to take a class," Stickland said. "If we tried to do that with the First Amendment, people would be going insane over it. And I think there are a lot of folks that are in regards to this. Any time you put rules and regulations on anyone, it's the good guys you're hurting. Because criminals, they don't obey the laws anyway."
Washington State AG Introduces Assault Weapon Ban And Enhanced Background Check Bills - January 9, 2017
Attorney General Bob Ferguson today announced the introduction of two bills aimed at reducing deadly mass shootings: a previously announced proposal to ban the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and a second, alternative bill enhancing background checks and raising the minimum age required to buy such weapons and magazines.
"I believe a ban on the sale of assault weapons is the right policy for Washington, and I will keep fighting for that," Ferguson said. "I've said from the beginning that it would be an uphill battle. My alternative represents meaningful reform that will enhance public safety now."
Orlando Democrats Seek Assault Weapon Ban - January 4, 2017
In another attempt at solving an issue that doesn't exist Florida Democrats are trying to ban something that is already heavily regulated by ATF, REAL assault weapons:
Spurred by the Pulse nightclub massacre, two Orlando Democrats are looking to ban the sale of assault weapons in Florida.
Rep. Carlos Guillermo-Smith and Sen. Linda Stewart plan to unveil their bill at a news conference Thursday. Both admit the bill is a long shot in the Republican-controlled Legislature, but Smith said he thinks filing the legislation is necessary to change the tone of the debate at the Capitol.
"It's part of what our obligation is as leaders," Smith said. "The gun lobby has control of the conversation on gun safety for the last several sessions."
The bill defines assault weapons as "any selective-fire firearm capable of fully automatic, semi-automatic, or burst fire at the option of the user," according to a draft copy provided to the Orlando Sentinel.
California DOJ Emergency Magazine Ban Regulations Withdrawn - December 29, 2016
A December 29, 2016 Office of Administrative Law (OAL) memo, sent to Attorney General Kamala Harris today, states that "This notice confirms that your proposed regulatory action regarding Large-Capacity Magazines was withdrawn from OAL review pursuant to Government Code section 11349.3(c)."
"This is welcomed news for law-abiding gun owners and the thousands of people who stood up for common-sense in their letters opposing the DOJ's outrageous proposed regulations," said FPC President Brandon Combs. "But make no mistake, the DOJ isn't done with this issue. Our policy team will continue to aggressively monitor and oppose all anti-gun regulations that DOJ might dream up next."
Nevada Background Check Initiative Found To Be Unenforceable - December 28, 2016
Nevada won't be able to implement a ballot measure that narrowly passed a statewide vote and calls for background checks on more gun sales and transfers because neither the state nor the FBI will do the checks, the state's top prosecutor said Wednesday.
Question 1 called for FBI background checks on private party gun sales and passed by less than 1 percentage point in November after an expensive campaign. But the FBI informed the state earlier this month that it wants Nevada's Department of Public Safety to conduct the checks itself because that agency already does checks for Nevada's commercial gun sales and has a more comprehensive database.
"The position of the (National Instant Criminal Background Checks System) Section is that these background checks are the responsibility of the state of Nevada to be conducted as any other background check for firearms," wrote Kimberly Del Greco, who oversees the background check division within the FBI, in a Dec. 14 letter.
The Department of Public Safety asked the Nevada Attorney General's Office whether it could conduct the checks even though the ballot measure specifically called for FBI checks. The attorney general's office concluded that the language doesn't give state agencies the authority to conduct the checks and the act, which was supposed to take effect Jan. 1, is unenforceable.
California Gun Shop Regulation Will Have Its Day In Court - December 27, 2016
A federal appeals court granted county officials a new hearing Tuesday on whether local governments in California can restrict the location of gun shops, setting aside a ruling that said such regulations may violate the right to bear arms.
By a majority vote of its 27 judges, the Court of Appeals in San Francisco ordered a rehearing in a case challenging an ordinance passed by Alameda County supervisors in 1998. The ordinance prohibits new gun stores in unincorporated areas within 500 feet of a residential neighborhood, a school, a day care center, a liquor store or another gun shop.
An appeals court panel voted 2-1 in May to reinstate a suit by gun shop applicants, which a federal judge had dismissed. The panel majority said the Constitution protects the right to buy and sell firearms as well as the right to own them, and that the county, to justify the restrictions, must at least provide evidence that gun stores are 'a magnet for crime.'
Tuesday's order referred the case to an 11 judge panel, consisting of Chief Judge Sidney Thomas and 10 randomly selected judges, for a hearing to be scheduled later.
Maryland Gun Application Process Goes Digital January First - December 27, 2016
Maryland State Police are promising more efficiency when it comes to the process people must go through to buy guns.
The gun application process is going digital, a new requirement borne out of Maryland's sweeping gun legislation it passed in 2013.
The state police website goes live Sunday. The website is a portal where prospective gun buyers will have to apply online.
Currently, those who have a handgun qualification license, and want to buy a regulated firearm have to submit a handwritten application to a gun dealer or state police, which then send it to the state police licensing division.
Starting in 2017, it's all digital and meant to improve customer service, state police said.
"It helps everybody in the process, particularly the buyer and the dealer, the firearms dealer, because there's no paperwork. There's no problem with maybe, illegible handwriting, and you can submit the application and pay that $10 application fee online," said Elena Russo, with Maryland State Police.
New Jersey Man Sues After Spending 3 Years In Jail Over BB Gun - December 26, 2016
A Middlesex County man cleared of a conviction that landed him in prison for three years over a BB gun is suing the state for damages, which could pay out upwards of $150,000.
The wrongful conviction lawsuit was filed on Dec. 14 in Middlesex County Superior Court after the state appellate court ruled the case against 30 year old hinged on warrantless search.
Jason Patterson's suit stems from a traffic stop in Metuchen in 2008, when the then 22-year-old who had abruptly stopped at a yellow light and ended up "a little past the intersection," the court papers say.
Police ran Patterson's plates and pulled him over on Dec. 1 for driving his Jeep, which had a faulty driver's side window, with a suspended license from an unpaid municipal fine, records show.
According to court papers, Patterson told the officer about the broken window and that one of them would have to open the door. Once the officer did, he said he spotted a "few flakes" of what he thought was marijuana and a shoelace tied in a way that looked like it had been used to shoot up. Police said they saw another syringe when Patterson got out of the SUV.
Patterson was arrested and admitted there were additional syringes and drugs in the Jeep, according to records. The officers then searched the entire Jeep finding seven syringes and 12 folds of heroin, as well as a BB-gun in the rear cargo area, tucked below a mat where the spare tire was stored.
Two years later, Patterson was convicted on a weapons charge and sentenced to three years in prison, with another three years of probation, state records show. Just before the trial, the state dismissed all of the drug charges.
Delaware Judge Upholds Ban On Non-Hunting Firearms In State Parks And Forests - December 23, 2016
A Delaware judge has sided with state environmental officials in a lawsuit challenging a ban on non-hunting firearms in state parks and forests.
Members of the Bridgeville Rifle & Pistol Club and the Delaware State Sportsmen's Association who have concealed carry permits challenged the ban in a Chancery Court lawsuit last year, saying it violates their constitutional right to carry firearms.
The lawsuit was refiled in Superior Court earlier this year after the Chancery Court dismissed it for lack of jurisdiction.
On Friday, a Superior Court judge ruled in favor of the state, saying the regulations do not violate Delaware's Constitution.
"The regulations do not run afoul of the Delaware Constitution, defendants were not preempted by the General Assembly in enacting the regulations, and defendants did not exceed the scope of the authority granted to them by statute in promulgating the regulations" wrote Judge T. Henley Graves.
Ohio Governor Kasich Signs Bill Expanding Concealed Carry - December 19, 2016
Governor John Kasich today signed bills expanding where Ohioans may carry hidden handguns along with those prohibiting local governments from raising the minimum wage or enacting more restrictive rules than the state for pet stores.
Senate Bill 199 would lift the state's current ban on carrying concealed firearms in day-care centers, airport terminals, school safety zones, and certain government buildings and would give public colleges and universities the authority to allow weapons on campus.
Private businesses, including day-care centers, could continue to post themselves off limits, and guns would still be forbidden in courthouses, police stations, and the Statehouse.
The law, which will take effect in 90 days, would also allow those with concealed carry permits to legally store their weapons in their cars while parked in private business lots.
Pennsylvania Senator To Reintroduce Background Check Bill In 2017 - December 16, 2016
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey has released the following statement in honor and remembrance of the 26 children and school employees who were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School four years ago today:
"Four years ago, twenty young children and six school employees were shot and killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. It was a terrible day for our country, and meeting some of the families of the victims was one of the most moving moments in my Senate career. These senseless killings also inspired me to work across the aisle on common sense gun safety legislation that upholds the Second Amendment while also making it harder for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to purchase a firearm. I remain committed to this cause and look forward to working with Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) again next Congress on our background check proposal."
9th Circuit Appeals Court Reinstates California 10 Day Waiting Period - December 14, 2016
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion on Wednesday to uphold a California law that requires a full 10-day 'cooling off' period for all lawful purchases of firearms, even for purchasers who have previously bought guns and passed background checks in less than 10 days.
U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Ishi struck down a portion of the law in 2014 after it was challenged by a pair of California residents and two non-profit Second Amendment advocacy groups, the Calguns Foundation, Inc. and the Second Amendment Foundation, Inc. In his ruling, Judge Ishi determined the '10-day waiting periods impermissibly violate the Second Amendment' for gun purchasers who previously passed background checks or had permits to carrying concealed weapons.
At the heart of the plaintiffs' challenge to the law is the claim that they have a right to possession of the firearm as soon as the required background check is completed. In other words, they are essentially saying there is no need to wait 10-days to take possession of the gun if the background check is completed beforehand.
The State of California appealed the ruling and a three-judge panel from the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument on the matter earlier this year. Nearly ten months later, the Ninth Circuit handed down its opinion on Wednesday, overturning Judge Ishi's ruling and reinstating the 10-day 'cooling off' period for all gun purchasers in the state.
Colorado School District Votes To Allow Teachers To Carry - December 14, 2016
The Hanover District 28 school board voted 3-2 to allow teachers and staff to conceal carry on campus on Wednesday night.
Because the measure passed, teachers and staff can now apply to have a concealed carry handgun in the classroom on a volunteer only basis.
This is the first school in eastern El Paso County to allow their staff to carry guns.
One board member was swayed in the position of approving this resolution on the spot.
Fear of another school shooting similar to Columbine or Sandy Hook is what sparked this vote, along with a lag in response times from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, which on average, now sits at 35 minutes for a priority call.
Emotions ran high on Wednesday night from both school board members and parents. Some parents News5 spoke with say this change was necessary while others still believe guns do not belong in schools.
"It's a matter of let's be proactive, let's look at what our society has become, school shootings have become a norm, we hear about these school shootings everyday," Terry Siewiyumptewa, a Hanover parent said.
Indiana Lawmakers Propose Constitutional Carry - November 29, 2016
Despite gun violence across the country, some Indiana lawmakers are introducing a bill next year that would allow Hoosiers to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.
"The state has taken that right, and we're forcing innocent people to jump through hoops and pay a fee to the state to exercise their Constitutional right," said State Rep. Jim Lucas. "To me that's immoral and wrong."
Currently, It can cost gun owners around $150 to purchase a conceal permit. According to Indiana State Police, the state has more than 750,000 active handgun licenses.
"You basically go online," said John Pemberton. "Do the background check. You go to a local facility like Good Will, one of those places. Get your finger prints done digitally, and I think you pay a local fee to whatever be through the county or city police wherever you live at. That's essentially it, so basically you're doing a background check."
Pemberton, manager and class instructor at Kodiak Gun Range in South Bend, says the law would allow more honest people to carry guns without the added expenses. But he says any gun owner needs proper training.
Defense Department To Allow Private Firearms On Base - November 22, 2016
The Defense Department has released guidelines that effectively allows troops to carry privately owned and concealed firearms on military bases like Fort Hood, the scene of mass shootings in 2009 and 2014. The directive comes out in spite of public objections by Gen. Mark Milley, the Army Chief of Staff, who commanded Fort Hood during the 2014 killings.
"Arming and the Use of Force," which came into effect on November 18, states Department of Defense firearms policies for military personnel during official duties. But, the DOD document also lays out the procedures that will allow Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines to carry privately-owned weapons on military bases.
Georgia Supreme Court Rules Against Gun-Rights Group - October 31, 2016
A gun rights group has lost its attempt to make it legal to carry a firearm on school property in Georgia.
In a unanimous ruling Monday, the state Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit the group GeorgiaCarry.Org Inc. brought against Georgia's Code Revision Commission and its members, including Gov. Nathan Deal.
The case stemmed from the 2014 General Assembly session, when lawmakers passed two gun-related bills and Deal signed them into law.
The first measure legalized carrying a firearm in a "school safety zone," defined as any building owned or leased by a school, college or university. But the second bill limited guns on school campuses to people picking up or dropping off a student.
The Code Revision Commission determined that the two bills were in conflict. Because the governor signed the second bill one day later than the first, the commission declared that only the more restrictive gun bill would become state law.
Bloomberg Sponsored Gun Control and the Californication of Nevada - October 18, 2016
A gun control initiative that would expand background checks to all private gun sales in Nevada also portends something else: The 'Californication of Nevada.'
After all, the initiative is not Nevadan in its funding, the 'bulk' of which comes from Michael Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety. Nor is the initiative Nevadan in its conception. Rather, the Los Angles Times posits Nevada as a state chosen by external forces to be "the latest testing site for Michael R. Bloomberg's attempt to pass a law requiring background checks for gun sales between private parties, including those conducted over the Internet."
Washington state went Bloomberg's way in 2014, passing a comprehensive background checks initiative. Yet there have been two mass shootings and a high profile shooting in Washington state this year alone. On September 23, five innocent lives were gunned down in Cascades Mall in Burlington. On July 30, three innocents were shot and killed at a house party just north of Seattle. In late February, the AP reported a gunman killed four people then himself in Belfair, Washington.
The Washington story is the same story we saw in Colorado, which passed comprehensive background checks in 2013. Yet on Halloween day 2015, a gunman opened fire in the streets of Colorado Springs, killing three before being killed by police. CBS News reported that the Halloween gunman acquired all his guns legally. And just over a month later, Robert Lewis Dear opened fire outside a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, killing three including a police officer. Comprehensive background checks failed to stop either of these high-profile shootings.
Arizona Attorney General Calls Concealed Carry On Private School Grounds Legal - October 1, 2016
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has decided people can carry concealed guns on private school campuses.
"State and federal law do not prohibit an individual that holds an Arizona Concealed Carry Weapons Permit from carrying a concealed handgun on private school grounds in Arizona," said in an opinion he wrote in response to questions he said he received about the issue.
The opinion notes, "Under Arizona law, a person commits 'misconduct involving weapons' by knowingly 'possessing a deadly weapon on school grounds.'"
However, the state recognizes that individuals with a state issued license already are allowed by law to carry concealed weapons.
The opinion suggests that Arizona law has technically always allowed this, but private school officials had not heard of the opinion, which was issued last month.